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SEMI's Guide to Low Back Pain, Posture, and Injury Prevention

Posted by Douglas W. Stoddard MD, M Sp Med, Dip Sport Med, ES on 20 June 2018
SEMI's Guide to Low Back Pain, Posture, and Injury Prevention

Waking up for work is hard, and low back pain doesn't make it any easier. But by correcting your posture, you can alleviate a lot of the pain localized in your spine and back.

Reference our handy guide whenever you're feeling low back pain, tension, or discomfort.

Fast Back Pain Facts:

  • Eight out of ten adults will have low back pain at some time in their lives
  • Back pain is one of the most common reasons for seeking medical attention
  • Studies shows 50% of patients experience recurring back pain following initial back pain
  • Chronic back pain could cause a substantial impact on quality of life
  • Back pain mostly occurs among 35-55 years old
  • Studies supports linking poor physical condition to back pain

Common Back Disorders

  • Acute strains and sprains
  • Muscle guarding or spasm
  • Arthritis
  • Disc bulge
  • Sacroiliac joint dysfunction

Risk Factors Associated with the Back

  • Individual and lifestyle
  • Physical or biomechanical
  • Poor body mechanics 
  • Lake of conditioning
  • Postural stresses
  • Heavy or repetitive lifting
  • Twisting & lifting and reaching & lifting
  • Sitting or standing too long in one position
  • Psychosocial like stressful living

How do we take care of our back?

  1. Proper Body Mechanics & Lifting Techniques such as push vs. pull, keep load close to body, avoid twisting, avoid lifting & bending, use abdominal bracing, bend at hips and knees not back
  2. Maintain proper postures
  3. Conditioning: exercise & stretching
  4. Sleeping on mattress that is firm and avoid sleep in one position too long
  5. Ergonomic desk and chair setup

Why good posture is important?

  1. Less strain on all tissues of the body so less likely to develop musculoskeletal problems
  2. Better muscle balance so easier to perform movements and practice sports
  3. Less energy consumption so less fatigue, better attention span, better condition for learning or being alert

Poor posture can be the cause of back pain, or make existing pain worse and longer lasting.

Proper Sitting Posture

  • Keep back straight, maintain curve in low back
  • Always sit with your buttock against the back of the chair
  • Knees in line or slightly lower than the hips
  • Lift chest up
  • Using a back rest will decrease the amount of weight bearing on the spine
  • A support in the low back will further decrease the weight on the spine
  • Avoid soft and deep couches

Proper Posture at the Computer

  • Feet on the ground
  • Thighs horizontal, supported
  • Low back supported by backrest
  • Forearms parallel to the floor
  • Wrists and hands in line with forearms
  • Elbows close to body
  • Head aligned with rest of body
  • Top of monitor at eye level
  • Mouse close to you
  • Take breaks regularly (at least every 30 min); get up stretch backwards

If you're still a spectator to the sports or activities you love due to low back pain, we offer a range of services, from sports massage therapy to active release therapy to acupuncture, to help you overcome your setback.

Schedule an appointment online with one of our medical professionals today.

Author: Douglas W. Stoddard MD, M Sp Med, Dip Sport Med, ES
About: Dr. Douglas Stoddard is a sports medicine physician and is the Medical Director of the Sports & Exercise Medicine Institute (SEMI). After receiving his medical degree from the University of Toronto, he trained in Australia at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra, obtaining his Master Degree in Sports Medicine. He is also a diplomat of the Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine and has his focussed practice designation in Sport Medicine from the Ontario Medical Association. Dr. Stoddard is a consultant to the Canadian Military and has consulted with well over 30,000 unique patients in his career. Dr. Stoddard is constantly searching for new and promising therapies to help SEMI patients, and is responsible for developing the RegenerVate Medical Injection Therapy Program. He is married and the proud father of two boys, is an avid triathlete and occasional guitar player.
Tags: Lower body Prevention Treatment options


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Sports & Exercise Medicine Institute

2 Sheppard Avenue E

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Toronto, ON
M2N 5Y7

Phone: (416) 223-7364 (SEMI)
Fax: (416) 223-8048
Email: sheppard@semisportmed.com

Monday: 7 – 7
Tuesday: 7 – 7
Wednesday: 7 – 7
Thursday: 7 – 7
Friday: 7 – 5:30
Saturday: Open last Saturday of each month, (times vary) except long weekends, July and August.
Sunday: Closed
(Not open long weekends nor Saturdays in July and August.)

40 St. Clair Avenue W

Suite 410
Toronto, ON
M4V 1M2

Phone: (416) 927-7364 (SEMI)
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Email: stclair@semisportmed.com
Monday: 7 – 3
Tuesday: 7 – 3
Wednesday: 7 – 3
Thursday: 7 – 7
Friday: 7 – 3
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed

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Thornhill, ON
L4J 1W5

Phone: (289) 459-7364
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